BT mediaLabs looks at your organization and goals with a whole mind. Working with you, we use our business, creative and technology expertise to craft manageable solutions that help you grow. BT mediaLabs is committed to finding ways to create an online presence that is uniquely yours and delivers value to your customers and to you. Our services include the following:
- Web Marketing Advice – reach new markets, attract new customers, convert visitors to customers
- Web Sites and Events – manage content, drive promotions, operate online stores… see our Products page
- Web Business Systems – Web-enabled Intra- and Extranets for employees to serve customers efficiently
- Back Office Solutions – manage workflow and transactions, track performance, integrate operations
- Identity Design – define branding and visual themes, leverage Web community and sociology
- Content Development – produce images, animations, voice, music, sound effects, hyperlinks, copy
- Storyboarding and Prototyping – create features, functions, pages, sites for testing and refinement
- Audio/Video Post-Production – edit, organize and package A/V content for online, CD and DVD products
- Usability and concinnity – select user-friendly interactions and cultural values to engage your clients
- Web Application Design and Development – create new sites, enhance existing sites, create and integrate new features; scale up and enhance performance
- Database Design and Development – automate Web and back office operations using SQL Server, Access and other tools
- Website and Media Hosting – operate Web sites in a secure, managed environment
- Technology Consulting – analyze technology challenges, design and implement solutions
- Audio/Video Processing – convert and produce files in many formats; host for streaming and downloading
At BT mediaLabs we adapt our project approach to suit the situation. Our team will spend time with your organization to determine your needs and plan the most appropriate and effective solution. Depending on your requirements, we may offer business, creative and/or technology services. We will collaborate with you as we customize the online applications to serve your marketing and sales objectives and integrate the applications with your business processes and systems infrastructures. Our clients span business, non-profit, the arts and government. We are sensitive to the unique cultures of organizations, audiences and stakeholders, and know how to leverage cultural values in the design of the site and the operations that support it.
BT mediaLabs offers a range of proprietary solutions that allow clients to choose from standardized, low-cost applications to more complex, highly customized systems. Our tools and technologies allow us to quickly and efficiently develop secure, flexible, effective solutions across a wide range of networking and telecommunications environments. But we never forget that the production methodology must be suited exactly to the client's content and goals to get maximum benefit from the interactive medium. See our Products page for details about each solution.
Here’s more about what we do…
Web marketing advice - BT mediaLabs has helped dozens of organizations reach new markets, attract new customers and convert visitors to customers. We are skilled at increasing site stickiness – finding ways to pull customers back to the site and once there, draw them to the products and services they want to buy. We are experts at viral marketing campaigns that convert visitors and customers into your virtual sales force. We can show you how to use Blogs to create engaging, low cost content, to increase referrals and to pull traffic to your site. BT mediaLabs can create market study engines that integrate data from demographics, Web site usage and feedback from viral marketing campaigns to identify opportunities for new markets, products and services. We can help you leverage a range of technologies such as Flash animations, e-cards, newsletters, streaming media, search engines, interactive Webcasting and videoconferencing to create high-profile events that attract large audiences.
Web sites and events - BT mediaLabs has created dozens of Web sites for major organizations serving millions of customers – see our Clients page. Each site has a unique design that fits the interests and needs of its stakeholders: audiences, customers, employees, sponsors, benefactors and the public at large. We also produce Web sites for special events, such as commemorative concerts and openings of new facilities. All the features you expect can be built into a BT mediaLabs Web site: Flash animations, streaming media, file downloading, event scheduling, ticketing, staff and sponsor profiles, user membership, shopping cart, targeted advertising, Blogs and more. Here’s what’s special about a BT mediaLabs site: it looks great, it provides the blend of features needed by the organization’s stakeholders, and all the functions work together. Beyond that, the organization’s staff can operate the site without hiring a whole programming department, saving money and enabling very frequent content updates. See our Products page for a list of the most frequently used features. If there is a function you don’t see, talk to us. If we don’t already have it in the back room, we can build it swiftly and economically in our lab.
Web business systems - More and more businesses are turning to the Web to provide products and services to their clients. As Extranets, Web-enabled business systems can deliver a higher quality of service, faster, at less cost than maintaining bricks-and-mortar client offices. As Intranets, these systems make it easier for employees and contract workers to do their jobs in the office, while traveling or from home. For example, the system we developed for a paper products and printing services company provides an advanced shopping cart that is linked to a third-party inventory management system. The integrated system provides the Web screens, database and data feeds by which customers can enter job orders and purchase supplies, and employees can accept work orders, report order status, update inventory and track sales. The whole system provides the purchasing, fulfillment, inventory functions and accounting feeds. As a pioneer in the design and development of Web business systems, we have developed database schemas to handle common business functions, including the workflow and configurable business logic required to deliver end-to-end solutions. We also install and integrate with third-party products that offer packaged, configurable solutions for particular businesses. We use industrial-strength security, gateways and virus protection to keep information and equipment safe. The same focus on interoperation that is used to develop Web sites is employed in our Web business systems.
Back office solutions - Some organizations may not need the Internet for daily operations but nevertheless can reap savings and efficiency by using an Intranet and tailored Web solutions to automate back office functions. For example, the system we developed for a school for the handicapped tracks student needs, skills and progress and provides administrative services including registration, scheduling, rosters and attendance database, a workflow engine and Web screens that model student guidance and scheduling processes at the school. Many of the same tools and techniques used to develop Web sites and Web business systems power BT mediaLabs’ back office solutions. Again, the ability for organization staff to operate and administer the solution significantly reduces the need for in-house programming staff. BT mediaLabs provides help screens, wizards and documentation needed for self-administration.
Identity design - Powerful icons and themes are critical to compete successfully in this multimedia world where your customers can find out about you in print, on television and radio and over the Internet – from your own site or the sites of distributors, other customers, news outlets and independent consumer organizations – and also from cell phones and other wireless devices. The right images, slogans and sounds can bind your messages together in your customer’s mind as a distinct identity that gives him direct recall about your products and services. Designing a powerful identity is harder than it seems. It is an art and a science that BT mediaLabs has evolved for years. We start with a thorough understanding of your organization’s mission, goals, products, services and capabilities. Then we gather information about customers, suppliers, the market, employees, strengths and weaknesses and competitors. Next, we develop the visual, text and auditory themes that identify both who you are and where you are going. These themes are used to craft icons, color schemes, design patterns, slogans and soundscapes that capture the essence of your identity. These can be tested in a range of media against appropriate audiences from different cultural backgrounds to ensure that the chosen identity works as widely as it needs to without committing a faux-pas. The resulting “heavy lifters” are then prepared in different resolutions and formats so that no matter how they are used, they call forth the identity you want to communicate. BT mediaLabs has created a Branding Engine for Flash animations that simplifies the design of audio/visual experiences based on your identity icons, themes, slogans and soundscapes.
Content development - BT mediaLabs has a flexible approach to content development. We can develop as much of the content for your Web sites and business as you need. Or, we can provide you with the tools, training, style guides and core assets (such as fonts, icons, buttons and function dictionaries) to develop content on your own. We can create and edit images, drawings, video, music, sound, text, voice-overs and flash animations. Or we can guide you as you establish your own content development team. We are particularly proud of our new BT mediaLabs Branding Engine for Flash. Before this, you needed a highly skilled Flash programmer to create exciting animations. The Branding Engine makes it possible for non-programmers to do much of this work and incorporate your identity designs, as needed. If you conceive of a novel type of animation, BT mediaLabs can program it for you and add it to the Branding Engine tool for everyday use.
Storyboarding and prototyping - Developing any Web application requires an iterative design and development process that involves storyboarding (sketching what happens when as a user interacts with the site) and prototyping (letting a user work with a testable version of the site). At BT mediaLabs, we use a Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology that moves very quickly from idea to prototype so that real users can react and guide the process. As a result, you can start testing core site features, functions and pages usually within days, and thereby truly participate in the site’s refinement.
Audio/video post-production - BT mediaLabs can provide complete recording, capture and post-production of audio and video content, including editing, organizing and packaging A/V content for online, CD and DVD products. For events which occurred simultaneously in different cities (and countries), BT mediaLabs assembled the teams and the technology that enabled audiences in each venue to experience what was happening in the other venue. Musicians jammed together across the Atlantic ocean. Poets in different cities shared a virtual stage. The teams recorded the events, including audience participation, and then creatively organized the video and audio content so that the sponsors could issue a CD and DVD of the event.
Usability and concinnity - Usability is a technique to ensure that Web applications are easy to use. It is achieved by organizing screen layouts, functions and page navigation in ways that mesh well with what users want to do and have done in the past. Concinnity exists when a person’s experience (through a Web site or other medium) is aligned with her cultural and emotional expectations. Web applications can have extremely powerful effects on viewers’ emotions because they employ color, movement, sound, words and symbolism. If a Web site has poor usability or concinnity, users can be irritated and will leave. BT mediaLabs has studied both usability and concinnity to help develop outstanding Web sites for performance venues, bands, Broadway musicals and other cultural institutions. We have learned that the emotional dynamics between institution and user also play out between a business and its customers and a government and its clients. BT mediaLabs has developed proprietary techniques to evaluate and improve both usability and concinnity of Web applications.
Web application design and development - BT mediaLabs can create new sites, enhance existing sites, create and integrate new features using a combination of industry standard tools and platforms as well as our own functional components based on those tools. Please review the Products section for a list of the components that can be part of a BT mediaLabs Web site. We can also scale up and enhance the performance of existing sites. During a project, BT mediaLabs engineers use our Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology to move quickly from idea to prototype. At the same time, they are linking together functions that we have developed in the past and that we know will interoperate. Much of our work is configuring existing routines rather than developing new code, which helps to reduce elapsed time. However, if there is a special function that you need, we already know how to integrate it with our other components, which significantly reduces time and effort to create new capabilities.
Database design and development - Today’s high speed networks allow you to replace islands of automation – single purpose computers each handling different tasks – with databases, each handling several tasks, on a smaller number of machines. The end results include: a means to rationalize work processes to gain efficiency; users have access to up-to-the-moment information; and user screens can display only data and commands pertinent to the job. BT mediaLabs has extensive experience automating Web and back office operations using SQL Server, Access and third-party applications to create end-to-end systems that serve current requirements and foster growth and enhancement. We use a disciplined methodology to gather requirements, including data items, data flows, processing and states that embody the workflow, and we separate the data from its presentation to simplify maintenance and enhancements. We have the sensitivity and experience to help organizations re-engineer their processes in ways that are compatible with organizational culture and the imperative to change.
Website and media hosting - BT mediaLabs specializes in hosting websites and rich streaming media for artists, technophiles, not-for-profit and small organizations who want an alternative to expensive, faceless corporate hosting solutions. We make it easy for you to get your website up and running. BT mediaLabs can help you get a domain name, set up website hosting, configure your email client and provide you with email accounts. Don’t forget that we have a wide range of Web features, including Blogs, that can be integrated with your site. We will even help maintain the site once it is on our servers. Your site will run in a secure, managed environment. Click here to read more about our hosting packages.
Technology consulting - Our technology capabilities encompass multiple system architectures, programming languages, broadband technologies, digital media applications, and communications networks utilizing Internet, Intranet and Extranet technologies. We will work with you to establish technology roadmaps and long term plans, determine requirements, analyze specific challenges, design and implement solutions.
- Server side programming: Cold Fusion, Perl
- Database planning and implementation: SQL Server, Access
- Database Design – emulate workflow and separate content from presentation
- Dynamic website content and administration
- Design software: HTML, DHTML, XML, Java, Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, After Effects
Audio/video processing - BT mediaLabs can help you give customers and clients interactive experiences through the use of broadband and DVD technologies. We can digitally encode audio and video files for broadcast and access over the Internet or DVD in the following formats: Quicktime, Real, Windows Media and/or AVI, MPEG and more. We provide hosting on our servers to store your streaming and downloadable audio and video files and download the files to customers end devices in accord with your business rules. Other available services include:
- Mass Encoding – converting CD audio and video libraries into streaming media or DVD formats and building the database of titles, artists and timings
- Video conferencing – coordinating integration of a third-party conferencing service into a special event or your ongoing operations
- Web casting – setting up Web-accessible audio/video special events involving multiple venues and/or audience interaction in person, over the Internet or on cell phones